Monday, 20 April 2015

Steven Moffat gets his son

Did you ever want to hear more of Steven Moffat, perhaps being interviewed by one of his sons? Well now you can in this 15 minute video.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

10 Years of New Doctor Who!

It's the tenth anniversary of the revival of New Doctor Who today (Woo!) and, despite any controversy over celebrating just a New Who anniversary ("it's a revival not a reboot!"), fans and celebrities have been finding ways to celebrate the anniversary. Here's a roundup of the highlights so far today.

The official Doctor Who channel reuploaded the first TV trailer. Check it out:

Peter Capaldi recorded a Happy Birthday message. Watch it below:

The Radio Times has a wonderful collection of Happy Birthday cards from RTD, Steven Moffat, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Billie Piper, John Barrowman and many many more!
You can also see a transcript of Peter Capaldi's video above in his card below:

Peter Capaldi then made a surprise appearance at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff to celebrate with fans (and eat cake!). Here's a video of that!

Fans have also been contributing. Popular trailer maker VG934 has made a 10th anniversary trailer:

And finally, visual effects artist JohnSmithVFX has created a wonderful look back at the past 10 years.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Relax, Doctor Who is NOT Being Removed from Netflix US

At least not forever...if everything goes to plan that is.

(Update 2: Classic Doctor Who is renewed too. Not that there's much of it on there.)

(Update: Turns out that shortly after posting this, Netflix has apparently renewed 21 BBC shows, including New Doctor Who and Torchwood. Go figure. This leaves the majority of BBC shows, including Classic Doctor Who, left to go.)

A few weeks ago, Netflix US put up a date on all the BBC shows, including Doctor Who, Sherlock and Torchwood, that they will expire February 1st. This has, for obvious reasons, caused an uproar in the fandom, spouting petitions everywhere, for example, one currently has 35957 signatures, with many sites fear-mongering the fans with click-bait headlines. The fans are showing that they are truly desperate for their show to remain.

In fact, the fear-mongering and petitions could damage the chance of shows returning and staying, in part or in whole, at worst. At best, it's pointless.

This is because this same thing happens almost every year, and not just with BBC shows, to varying degrees of panic. Hey, here's a petition from 2012 with the exact same thing, listing another previous occasion. Here's a discussion on Reddit from the same year about it. Here's a list of shows to be removed from last year.

The license Netflix has with the BBC's commercial subsidiary, BBC Worldwide, is up for renewal once again. Until the deal is closed, they need to deal with the worst case scenario where it falls through, so they put an expiry date up (and temporarily take it down if the negotiations go beyond that expiry date). Usually, negotiations are finished quickly so most of the time, people don't notice.

But how can public petitions damage the chance? Well, Netflix may want to try to get every show on the planet but they only have a certain amount of money to spend. BBC Worldwide is out there to make money. What do you think they'll do when they realise that fans, and therefore Netflix, are desperate for the show to stay? They'll put up the price! Especially since the show's popularity is soaring. This only gives WW more leverage.
This means that something will have to give. It may not be Doctor Who. It may not even be a show, but rather the technical setup to keep the site running smoothly (like battling American ISPs). But something somewhere would have to give. Unless, of course, Netflix deems it too expensive and simply rejects it.

So while it's important for BBC Worldwide to see a level of interest, keep the desperation in private with Netflix. Put your money where your mouth is and get on the phone or live chat with their support team, explaining how you need the show and would stop paying otherwise.
This way, each individual complaint can be tied to the issue and to money they could lose. This works infinitely better than an easily faked petition from people who could be members or not, and is one of the main methods Netflix uses to determine what shows are sustainable to keep.
Remember, be polite while contacting Netflix. The support staff aren't responsible for any negotiations and Netflix don't remove them because they want to, but legally have to.

So relax people. There's a good chance they might disappear for a short period, but it won't be gone forever (unless in the rare chance that negotiations fall through and if they do, other services exist). Chances are, the deadline date will just disappear and things will just continue. It has been confirmed Netflix UK and Ireland are unaffected.

"Doctor Who: Earth Conquest - The World Tour" Airs Tonight on BBC3

The documentary "Doctor Who: Earth Conquest - The World Tour" originally aired on BBC America and then released on DVD/Blu-Ray will air tonight on BBC 3 at 7pm, followed by Deep Breath.

The documentary follows Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman on their world tour to promote Series 8 across  the 7 cities - Cardiff, London, Seoul, Sydney, New York, Mexico City and Rio - and also includes some fun fan encounters.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Doctor Who Series 9 News Round-Up

Filming on Doctor Who series 9 started last week and a few details on the upcoming series have been revealed. It has been confirmed that the series is set to return in the Autumn.

According to a tweet posted then deleted by Director of Photography Ali Asad, the series will soon be going to Spain for some on-location shooting.

The episodes currently being filmed are episodes three and four, part of Block One, written by Toby Whithouse ("School Reunion", "The Vampires of Venice", "The God Complex", "A Town Called Mercy"), produced by Derek Ritchie (Wizards vs Aliens, Being Human) and directed by Daniel O’Hara (Silent Witness, The Game, Being Human). 

Paul Kaye
Steven Moffat commented on the story:
“An amazing guest cast for a brilliantly creepy two-parter by Toby Whithouse. Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman are back in Cardiff, back in the box, and back in action - for one of our scariest adventures yet!”
On set filming for the new series, Peter Capaldi added:
“The adventures begin again for myself and Jenna and I’m delighted to be back filming my second series of Doctor Who.”
Paul Kaye who played Thoros of Myr in the third series of Game of Thrones joins the Doctor Who cast for the two-part episode. A comedian and actor, Paul is also well-known for being the voice of Vincent the fox on the puppet-based BBC comedy Mongrels. 
Morven Christie

Commenting on his role, Paul Kaye, said: 
“As a kid of the 1970’s, the two shows you always watched were Top of the Pops and Doctor Who, they were unmissable. I actually wrote a song called ‘Looking for Davros’ in my first punk band and I sang it like a demented Dalek. I got to present TOTP back in the mid ‘90’s and landing this role in Doctor Who completes the dream double."

 “Peter is a perfect Doctor and I’m loving every minute of the experience, even the five hours in make-up. What a treat, best 50th birthday present ever!”
Also starring in the episodes will be Morven Christie who recently played the role of Amanda in the crime drama Grantchester and featured in Death in Paradise (2014) and Twenty Twelve.

Colin McFarlane
Arsher Ali who played the part of Malik Suri in the critically acclaimed The Missing (BBC One) takes up a role in the guest cast alongside Colin McFarlane who appeared in Eastenders as part of the Who Killed Lucy Beale? storyline.

Recognised for her theatre and TV performances, actress Sophie Stone appears in the show for the first time. Sophie was the lead actress in the play Woman of Flowers and has appeared in Midsummer Murders and Casualty.

Also joining Peter Capaldi (The Doctor) and Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald) and confirmed for roles in the double episode are Zaqi Ismail, Steven Robertson and Neil Fingleton.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Doctor Who Speaker and Headphones Announced

American company Massive Audio have announced, in collaboration with BBC Worldwide, it will launch a new line of Doctor Who-themed products, consisting of TARDIS and Dalek Bluetooth Speakers and Doctor Who Headphones, at the International CES next week.

The company have released the following information:
These TARDIS and Dalek collectable Bluetooth speakers will feature an out-of-this world sound experience along with exciting functions such as built-in official fan favorite sound clips directly from the show and LED indicators that sound off and illuminate when different features are activated. Fans will also be able to link multiple products together to create the ultimate surround sound experience. This will allow the ultra-fan to surround themselves with their own army of Bluetooth Dalek speakers that will rival even the Doctor’s own sonic prowess. With exceptional craftsmanship and sound quality, along with a hugely popular following of over 88 million fans, these speakers and headphones will be a hit with fans of every age and demographic.
This comes at a price though. The Tardis Speaker has an MSRP of $119.98, while the Dalek speaker goes for $119.98 and $149.98. And the headphones retail for $59.98 (wired) and $119.98 (Bluetooth.)

View more information, including a technical specification by clicking on Featured on their site here, or click here to view the store.


Daniel O'Hara To Direct Two Episodes of Doctor Who Series 9?

According to Daniel O'Hara's Online CV, he is set to direct two episodes of Doctor Who. Interestingly, both episodes are listed as 60 minutes long.

O'Hara has recently directed episodes for Silent Witness, The Game, Being Human and Aliens vs Wizards. Two of which he has worked with Doctor Who writer Toby Whithouse for.


Doctor Who: Last Christmas - Final Viewing Figures and AI

The final viewing figures for Last Christmas have been released resulting in 8.28 million, an increase of 1.94 million from the overnight figure of 6.34 million.

Last Christmas was the sixth most watched show on Christmas Day, with "Mrs Brown's Boys" at the top, taking 9.69 million viewers.

This figure does not include iPlayer views.

Last Christmas also achieved an Audience Appreciation Index score of 82, the lowest Christmas Special score of Doctor Who, being beaten out by Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey.

Doctor Who: Last Christmas - Poll Results

The results from last week's poll are in!

Last Christmas achieved an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 from you guys, with over two thirds voting positively. See a breakdown of the poll in the graph below:

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Jenna Confirmed for All Of Series 9

Speaking at the press launch of Last Christmas, the team announced that Jenna is confirmed for staying the whole of series 9.

Steven Moffat commented:

"Jenna is in all of the next series, which we’re delighted to reveal.  There was a certain amount of to-ing and fro-ing"
"I always think I’m quite good at winding up people on this but Jenna completely outplayed me when she said in an interview 'I’m not telling you if I’m staying or going because it’s just more exciting'. And it occurred to us all that we don’t start shooting until January so we could actually keep it a secret."

Jenna Coleman confirmed that Peter Capaldi helped sway her into staying:

"It’s wonderful – a whole other series of stories with the Doctor. I couldn’t walk away with the story being unresolved, there’s so much more to do and I think [Clara and the Doctor] have finally just reached a point where they really understand each other." "The arrival of the 12th Doctor has just dropped this bombshell and allowed the dynamic to totally, totally change so I think, just when Clara was feeling more comfortable in the relationship, it’s suddenly thrown something totally new up and I think the comeuppance of that and the story that we got to tell over the season has been thrilling."
Peter Capaldi also commented:

"I think Jenna’s been just fantastic and it’s been such a pleasure to work with her – and especially for me as the new person onto the show, she’s just been fantastic – and so I was so excited and delighted when she finally [agreed to stay]." 

But with an episode entitled The Magician's Apprentice, are we looking at two companions?

Poll: What did YOU think of Last Christmas?

Last Christmas has finished now in the UK. What did you think of the episode? Vote on the poll below and we'll reveal your thoughts in 1 weeks time on New Year's Day.

You can also comment your opinions in full on the blogpost below.

You can view my rather critical thoughts on the episode in our non-spoiler review here.

WATCH: Doctor Who Extra - Last Christmas

WATCH: Doctor Who Extra: Last Christmas Preview Clip 2

The Preview Review: Doctor Who : Last Christmas [Spoiler-Lite]

(While this review does not contain major spoilers or specifics, it does talk about officially released details and some minor things may be given away.  It also draws your attention to hints in the episode. Read at your own discretion.)

Doctor Who returns for its now traditional Christmas Special. A strange man crashlands on Clara's roof, The Doctor returns and the two are soon reunited. Oh, and there's a north-pole expedition in danger. But...Santa! We get to find out who he is after waiting since Death in Heaven, the answer to which would have impossible without upsetting some people in some way.

But don't let Santa's presence screw with your expectations. While the episode may start on a fun note with Santa's one-liners, flying reindeer and a dance sequence, the Christmas special still contains some very dark threads from series 8, mostly on the incredibly depressing side, despite the astonishingly low body count. Luckily, the majority of these should fly over children's, and anyone who's not paying the utmost attention's, heads.

It's impossible to say much about this story without giving away or strongly hinting to the central plot, however the entire episode feels very much like they ran out of ideas and watched a few movies, and just slammed it all together unashamedly, even directly referencing the movie Alien. Surprisingly, however, it does actually work. Just.
To enjoy the plot to the fullest, this episode cannot be taken too seriously and must be viewed in light of the season. Despite this, the episode is well paced and provides plenty of entertaining one-liners to keep the episode fun and not too cumbersome. There's also a massive amount of references in here, from My Little Pony to Game of Thrones to the traditional festive Die Hard movie.

We also get some really good scenes between The Doctor and Clara and it can be very clearly seen that the loss of Danny Pink is still massively affecting her, which is woven into the plot very well. The closing scene between the pair in Death in Heaven, where they both lie to each other for each other's good, is addressed, yes, but as can be expected, not much can be made of it. It's obvious what happened to both the viewers and the characters so Moffat made the right choice by not focusing on it and moving swiftly on. Don't expect anything to actually come from it.
Likewise, we also find out definitively by the end of the episode whether Clara is staying or leaving. While we're not allowed to reveal it, I will say that I dislike how boring the cliffhanger turned out to be and how it was completely predictable.
Despite the issues and the lack of contact I have with the writing in this episode, Capaldi and Coleman, as usual, make the rather rough material they are given work incredibly.

Nick Frost is easily at the forefront of the guest cast, even getting a clunkily-placed title credit, and he plays the role wonderfully, mainly full of laughs and a bit of fun. Just a joy to watch. He's the Anti-Capaldi on the darkness line, although he does have a dark moment near the start that sent shivers down my spine.

The two elves, Nathan McMullen and Dan Starkey, added some amusing humour but they were only there to avoid the question of Santa being on his own.

The base's survivors were much better written, with Faye Marsay's Shona, Natalie Gumede's Ashley, Maureen Beattie's Bellows all receiving some rather well written back-story, given time restraints, and the acting was excellent.
Sadly, Patrick Troughton's children have had a pretty tough time with their Doctor Who characters between this episode and Midnight. Michael Troughton's Albert is also a professor who the show also tries to come off as a jerk, while providing very little story to. Disappointing.

Soundtrack wise, we get to hear our favourite theme from series 8 again among a few other themes, with few beautiful pieces.

Finally, the direction, CGI and set dressing of this episode is my favourite part of the episode. The episode is visually stunning, eerie and well edited. The fairly small number of locations works out very well as they are remade to look like a few different times, with a different feel. The CGI looked to be pretty good, however the low resolution preview wasn't very clear.

Overall, the episode feels like a lacklustre filler episode that adequately does its job, perhaps due to the big build-up that results in little, which is mainly the fault of the preceding episode's cliffhanger. This episode would work well binge-watched with the rest of the series later. It's neither the best or the worst, but it'll provide a decent amount of entertainment for the holidays. 6/10.

Last Christmas premieres on BBC One, Christmas Day at 6:15pm